Hello my name is Jamie and I am a clueless photographer

I have a confession......I am a clueless photographer. And I have always dreamt about being a super fantastic photographer. But I honestly have no idea what I am doing with digital. In high school, I was obsessed with black and white photography (with film) and was blessed with amazing courses at school where I would spend an hour everyday inside a darkroom. It was magical feeling walking through the darkroom doors and was my absolute favorite part of the day. I learned so many valuable things but unfortunately a lot of those skills don't transfer to digital photography.

With our exciting travels planned over the next few weeks, I really wanted to focus on how to actually use Photoshop and Lightroom and figure out which one I like to work with. In all honesty, I have been using picmonkey for all of my editing. It's so easy, and I usually only spend a minute on each photo.....if that. I think that is why I have always shied away from Photoshop.....it's so time consuming! Well, I made myself sit down and watch some tutorials and read a few articles on Ps and Lr. It's like sitting in Chemistry class.....I can't focus. Ugh. 

So I did what I know best and took to Pinterest. I found a few free actions that I thought might be useful. Since we will be in Spain in a few weeks, I revisited my French Riviera photos to see if I could make them look better. And this is what happened..... 


The photos above were actually taken on my Samsung Galaxy S2, which I love and it has since died (RIP fave phone). I basically just used a cross process action and then used the auto adjust in Ps for the brightness and contrast. Lazy ha!!
Before/After

I liked how the after photo looked until I saw it right next to the original. Again, this was taken on my phone, and I used the same action as the photos above. 

 Before/After

The sea shot is one of my favorites that I edited. I love the dark blue on the horizon line. However, the turquoise colors seemed to have disappeared in the after photo. And I wish I knew how to keep the color of the clouds in the top left corner...

Before/After

I just love both of these. I think that this is one of those moments captured that will be great no matter how you edit it. French ladies walking their fluffy dogs along the Mediterranean. It's just perfection.

Ok readers....what are your tips, go to guides, actions, etc?! I have to do my Spain pictures some justice!! Tell me your secrets!!!

-Jamie

13 comments

  1. My secret is usually "do nothing" haha. I recently starting using the "auto-brightness" button though which is just one click, no adjustment bar or anything. I don't use it for all photos though because some make the photos way too white. I have zero clue what I'm doing and after making changes my mind gets jumbled on what looks good and what doesn't look good. It's confusing :(

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    1. Yes I love the auto button on the brightness/contrast...I used that on the rapeseed fields and then toned it down a bit...because you are right, sometimes it makes it too bright! Maybe we just overthink things? I think my main problem is keeping all of the tones the same throughout a set of photos....does that make sense? I don't want them all to look similar so that they dont look too corrected!

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    2. ***I mean...I want them to look similar

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  2. They turned out really nice! I usually use Photoscape and switch between three options: auto colour, backlight and a filter called cinema that creates a similiar effect of what you did here. I have Photoshop on my laptop (it came with it) but I've never used it. The amount of options just overwhelms me! ;)

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    1. I've never even heard of Photscape...thanks for sharing!! Yes, the photoshop options totally overwhelm me as well :)

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  3. Hiya Jamie! I really enjoyed this post. I too have started spending more time brushing up my photog skills. You'd never believe it now, but years ago I actually took a course in manual photography and won an award. Over the years I got very very lazy and totally forgot most of what I learned.

    I do know one thing though, no matter how good the photo editing software, nothing makes a better image than a good, quality camera. This just happens to be one of those areas where you get what you pay for unfortunately (or fortunately).

    I recently switched to a new camera and love it. Just wrote about it on the blog.

    Have a lovely weekend!!
    xo
    V @ Life+1
    New Post : For the Love of Friday : My Insta-week

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    1. Yes I read it when you posted it :) I actually have the same camera! I guess I may need to start to reading some basic articles on the camera...it has so many functions and I have been trying to shoot a little bit of manual as well. I LOVE the RX100...great little camera!

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  4. I use photoshop for my photos but that's crazy expensive these days but also www.picmmonkey.com is a good mostly free online software to use. It has filters and also the ability to do little tweaks like crop, straighten adjust saturation etc. I really like your photos tho I think you most definitely are not a crappy photographer!

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    1. I'm using the monthly Photoshop and Lightroom and its about $9 a month....picmonkey royale is costing about $5 a month....so I guess I need to pick one :)

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  5. Ha, you are NOT a clueless photographer! I think you're great! Where did you find these filters? I'm interested in giving it a whirl! :)

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    1. Aww thanks! I just searched on Pinterest :) There are sooooo many!

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  6. I really enjoyed reading this. I use Photoshop, and it's a daily battle. I probably spend 75% of my time on a post just on the pictures, and this can sometimes be hours. We'll have to take a Photoshop class together somewhere in London!

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    1. If you find one, let me know!! I battle with Photoshop too....there are just too many options!

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